This is the sixteenth part of our Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions series and it tackles ten of not so common issues. We still have thousands of emails to be answered and problems to be addressed so you can expect that there will be more articles like this to be published in the following days, weeks and months.
Aside from problems, we also received emails thanking us for the service we provide and that gesture, of course, makes us happy. At least, we know we are helping others. If you have problems with your Android phone, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot guarantee that we can answer all emails we receive but I assure you I personally read every email we receive. You can also reach us via our Facebook and Google+ pages.
If you currently have problems with your Galaxy S3, browse this post or the first fifteen parts as we may have already addressed them.
#1. Galaxy S3 won’t turn on, re-flash may be needed
Q: Hi, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 which was working fine one day then suddenly turned off. I tried rebooting but no luck. I followed your instructions on your site but still it doesn’t power on. I took it to a technician in my area who advised that it’s not the power switch or battery. He said it needs to be flashed. He also advised there is no one in Saskatchewan who can do this. Do you think you can help me by telling me how I can flash my phone? It’s the gt-i9300 model. Regards, Shreekesh.
A: First of all, I just want to make things a little clearer; powering on is totally different from booting up. The phone may be able to power on but can’t boot up but NOT the other way around. Since you used the words “power on” in your email, I would assume the phone is totally dead. So, there are three possibilities that I can see here; it could be a battery problem, the power switch was damaged, or there is an issue with the USB charging port.
I don’t want to discredit the technician who told you the phone needs to be flashed but if he wasn’t able to bring the phone back on, how did he know the OS needs to be re-flashed? Even if the phone can’t boot up, it would still power on and you can boot it to either Recovery Mode or Download Mode provided there is to problem with its battery or other hardware responsible in powering it up.
About your question on how to flash the firmware, well, you need to boot up the phone to Recovery Mode and install the package from there (this is for rooted phone) or to Download Mode, which requires you to connect the phone to a computer, and flash the stock firmware using ODIN.
Let’s say your tech was right, the problem is neither with the battery nor the power switch, how about the USB charging port? And did he try a different battery already? If the phone just suddenly turned off, I’m sure it’s not the power switch that has a problem. It’s between the battery and USB charging port and you need the help of a technician who knows how to deal with these kinds of problems. Have the phone powered on first before you can re-flash the operating system. I hope I explained it clearly.
#2. Galaxy S3 says “Waiting for network…”
Q: I have a Galaxy S3 and I just got and the person I got it from did a factory reset and now it comes up select language and I press English then Start and it goes to a screen that says Waiting For Network… Activation can take a few minutes. Then after a little while it says can’t activate the phone call customer service. So I did and they said they would not unless I had an account with them. — Lindsey
A: It’s a provisioning issue. The phone should be activated by the service provider before it can register to the network and use everything that’s offered. If you don’t like the service provider the phone was connected previously, try contacting other providers and ask if you can bring your own phone and use their service for a fee. After all, what’s the use of a phone if you can’t make/receive phone calls or send/receive messages?
#3. Galaxy S3 gallery shows pictures darker
Q: Good day, I’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S3. Since the last update of my gallery it does some annoying things. When I have a picture that’s just clear, I click to view it and then it’s a lot darker. Little grey tint over it. And the date in the left bottom is annoying. Do you have a solution for the grey tint? Awaiting your reply. Thanks in advance!
A: Try to download any free gallery app from the Play Store and view the pictures to see if the grey tint is still there. If the tint is still present, please try to download those photos on a computer and view them from there. Now, if the tint is still visible in a computer, then it’s the quality of the picture that’s to blame and not the Gallery app. In case these photos were taken using the camera of your phone, the camera sensor may be at fault here.
However, if the tint is nowhere to be found with other gallery app, try clearing the cache and data of the stock Gallery app and see if that works.
#4. Galaxy S3 can’t download files
Q: Hi, I’ve scoured the net and cant find a solution to my problem. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon. For the last 15 months its worked great, but this weekend suddenly I cant download files from the internet. I haven’t rooted my phone or done anything fancy . Only have about 15 to 20 apps none of which are new. I’m using the blue globe icon fir internet same as always and haven’t had any other issues.
I’ve tried rebooting the phone, unmounting the SD card & reformatting it, even tried a new SD card, I tried clearing the cache and history, tried cleaning some files, I have 7.5 gigs of free space out of 16 on phone & .92 of .95 gigs free on SD card. Any ideas? — Jim
A: In cases like this, the user should be getting warning or error messages and the answer to your question is already included in those messages. However, try to double-check if the URL to the downloadable file is correct and if there are no security or anti-spam measures implemented per download. Also, go to Settings > Application Manager and clear both the cache and data of Internet app. As a workaround, try using other browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
#5. Galaxy S3 stuck on the welcome screen
Q: Hi! I really need your help, last 2 nights I updated my Samsung S3, it malfunctioned after the update, I can open it but it froze on welcome screen, I’ve tried your solutions already like wipe the cache, reset to factory settings, reboot, but no luck still the same. I wonder if you have some software for it or if you have some solutions. thanks a lot. – LG
A: Was it an official OTA update or you flashed custom ROM to your phone? But either way, you need to download the stock firmware and the popular flashing tool ODIN, boot the phone to Download Mode, connect it to computer and start flashing. No, we don’t have some kind of a software to help you out of it.
#6. Galaxy S3 camera failed
Q: Hello I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and my camera saying “camera failed” my husband tried replacing the back camera. The front camera works. A few months ago I took my last picture I have NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED! We are thinking its hardware issues and I have straight talk phone service.
A: It could be a hardware issue but before you let your husband replace the back camera, have him perform factory reset first because may be it’s just a matter of messed up software data. I have encountered problems like this but before I recommend having the camera sensor replaced, I would clear the Camera app’s cache and data, and then do the factory reset. There’s always a fifty-fifty chance it would be fixed.
#7. Galaxy S3 music player malfunction
Q: I recently updated the OS system on my Sprint S3 and suddenly the music player is crap. When I hit play, it takes maybe 30 seconds then either freezes up, plays the song or skips around to some other song on a different album. Sometimes when I go back to the music menu, it looks like someone else is pressing songs and trying to make it play them, even though I’m not touching the screen. I’ve tried third party music players and get the same results. I’ve heard you talk about a “factory reset” but I have no idea what it means — sounds like a royal pain. The phone seems sluggish in other ways, but the music player is the worst. Never had this problem before the update. Thanks, Mike.
A: If the phone became sluggish after the update, then there’s a more serious problem than just the minor music player malfunction. This is very common with Galaxy S3 especially if it’s a huge update like migrating from Jelly Bean to KitKat. We also had a lot of readers emailed us about the phone being sluggish after Jelly Bean was rolled out last year.
Factory reset could surely fix the issue but it’s a pain having to backup every data you have including contacts, messages, pictures, etc. Meanwhile, to remedy the performance of the music player, go to Settings > Application Manager and look for Music, and then clear its cache and data. Be warned though, you will lose all your playlist and other settings but not your music.
#8. Galaxy S3 working terribly after the update
Q: My phone has been acting up terribly since the new updates for the Samsung Galaxy S3 … was this designed to frustrate me and force me to upgrade … constant dropped calls … internet going in and out … GPS not functioning correctly … delayed text messages … not charging properly … phone constantly shutting down … very dissatisfied … and prior to the updates my phone was working fine … can my phone be reset back to before being updated?
A: Yes you can but the warranty will become void once you do that. With the help of the popular flashing tool called ODIN, you can flash the previous version of Android to your phone by connecting it to a computer. From there, you can use Odin install the previous OS for you. But there’s one thing I want you to try before doing that–Factory Reset. It will clear old caches and data from your phone and forces it to cache fresher ones.
#9. Galaxy S3 can’t automatically connect to mobile network
Q: Hello, So I have recently been to the shop where I bought my Samsung Galaxy S3 but i do not find them very helpful. I’m not sure if you could possibly give me any idea of what this problem could be, and if you could help resolve it. When I am at home my phone is fine, but when I’m out using 3G I got to use the internet to search something or to go on my social networking site I find that may I have no 3G. When I went to the phone shop and told them the same they said when it happens I could turn my phone on to flight mode and then back off, and then it work but I don’t want to always keep turning my phone onto flight mode and then off again when I’m out, away from home. I’m just wondering if there is anything I could do to stop this, or why it is doing it? Please help me!
A: It is a minor issue and it can be resolved by booting to recovery mode and wiping the cache partition. Please refer to the step-by-step guide below. Don’t worry, wiping the cache partition will not delete any of your personal data saved in your phone. It will, however, delete all cached files to force the phone to cache newer and fresher ones.
Wiping Cache Partition
Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
Highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
After you wiped the cache partition, set the phone to automatically switch between networks. This will command the phone to connect to mobile data in the absence of a known Wi-Fi network. Here’s how you do it…
From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
Tap the Connections tab.
If necessary, tap the Wi-Fi Switch to On. The Switch moves right and turns green.
Tap the Menu key, then choose Advanced Settings.
Un-check ‘Auto network switch’ option.
Now try to connect to your network.
#10. Galaxy S3 power switch problem
Q: Hi, firstly what a fantastic service you provide, giving us help to overcome Samsung problems. My problem is much the same as most posts on here. It randomly reboots and has trouble starting up. Right now I’ve taken the battery out for a while to see if that helps it boot up. Also I noticed that the close down screen was appearing all on its own and the power button (top right hand side) became sensitive so I took the phone apart and removed the button and that stopped the close down screen appearing. When I eventually get my phone back on, what can I do to stop it happening again? It hasn’t been dropped or water damaged. I need to keep the phone on as its my alarm for work. — Jason
A: Jason, the power switch button is replaceable and that’s what I think is the ultimate fix to this problem. But then there is a possibility that it’s just a matter of properly fitting the button so it won’t keep pressing the switch. You seem to be a techie person, I’m sure you can figure that out.
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